Alan David Yorkin
February 22, 1926
Washington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||August 18, 2015 (aged 89)|
Bel Air, California, U.S.
Alan David "Bud" Yorkin (February 22, 1926 – August 18, 2015) was an American film and television producer, director, screenwriter, and actor.
Yorkin was born Alan David Yorkin on February 22, 1926, in Washington, Pennsylvania. At age 16, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II. Yorkin earned a degree in engineering from Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh.
In 1954, Yorkin became the producer of NBC's The Tony Martin Show, a 15-minute variety program which preceded the nightly news on Monday evenings. In 1955, he produced and directed the live 11-episode half-hour military comedy, The Soldiers, starring Hal March, Tom D'Andrea, and John Dehner. In 1956, he became the producer and director of Tennessee Ernie Ford's NBC half-hour comedy/variety program, The Ford Show.
In 1958, Yorkin joined writer/producer Norman Lear to form Tandem Productions, which produced several motion pictures and television specials in the 1960s to 1971 with such major studios like United Artists and Warner Bros. Yorkin directed and produced the 1958 TV special An Evening with Fred Astaire, which won nine Emmy Awards. He later produced many of the hit sitcoms of the 1970s, such as All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, and Sanford and Son.
After his split with Lear, Yorkin went on to form Bud Yorkin Productions. His first sitcom after the split was the unsuccessful Sanford and Son spin-off sitcom Grady. In 1976, he formed TOY Productions with Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein (who produced Sanford and Son from 1974 to 1977) and their two hits were What's Happening!! and Carter Country. TOY Productions was acquired by Columbia Pictures Television in 1979.
In 1963, Yorkin directed Come Blow Your Horn, starring Frank Sinatra and Lee J. Cobb. Yorkin went on to direct and produce the film Start the Revolution Without Me starring Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland in 1970 which has become a cult classic. He also directed the film Twice in a Lifetime in 1985, starring Gene Hackman.
In 1999, he and Lear were awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television. In 2002, Yorkin was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
Yorkin died of natural causes on August 18, 2015, at the age of 89. He was married to actress Cynthia Sikes, and was the father of television writer and producer Nicole Yorkin. He was a member of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.